The Phoenix Suns held an open practice on Saturday, and the typical open practice shenanigans went down. It was a lighthearted affair, with free parking and free entry, designed to get fans in the building and give many who would otherwise be unable to afford it an opportunity to get close to the court and see some of their favorites. Players held an impromptu jam session. They scrimmaged against one another and took great pleasure in scoring on their teammates. And they held a half-court shooting contest.
Well, it was sort of a contest. As the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro put it, “Every Suns player missed a half-court shot and then the team’s best shooter, the head coach, gave it a try.” The result was predictable:
Nothing but net, naturally.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that none of the players actually on the roster were able to hit a half-court shot; after all, Phoenix was 0-for-15 on shots from at least 45 feet last season. It’s not exactly an easy shot, unless you’re Vince Carter. Fortunately, they had coach Jeff Hornacek to save them from complete failure. Hornacek is 30th all-time in 3-point percentage among players with at least 500 attempts in the regular season. It’s probably not much of an exaggeration to say that he’s the Suns’ best 3-point shooter.
The NBA banned player-coaches at the start of the 1984-85 season in order to prevent teams from circumventing the newly installed salary cap. Can’t we get an exception just this once, though? Let Hornacek be Hornacek!